India has seen Office 365 prices go up by almost 18% since the start of this year, a combination of both Microsoft and the Indian government grabbing some money.
According to ndtv.com Office 365 Home cost 4,199 rupees last year, now the same product costs 5,450 rupees! How did that happen?
Microsoft takes 10% more
Microsoft India increased the price of Office 365 in January 2017. A 10% increase into Microsoft’s pockets. The company says the increase was due to ‘market forces’, meaning they figured customers would pay more for the same product.
Microsoft India is quoted telling a very partial truth:
” The price of Office 365 on Microsoftstore.com has not changed since January 2017 when we increased it by 10% “
That’s not the whole story, as they well know. The price customers pay definitely has increased since the start of the year.
The Indian government is making big changes to modernize the country’s economy and reduce the enormous ‘cash economy’ that avoids taxes. You may have read about the recall of the popular 500 and 1000 rupee notes that forced people to bank their cash hordes or lose it entirely.
Not only has the GST (Goods and Services Tax) been effectively increased, there’s greater enforcement of the tax.
Only in April 2017 did the official Microsoft Store start adding the Indian GST to Office 365 . That added 15% to the price.
In July, the GST rate went up to 18% when online services were reclassified into a higher tax rate.
Like GST’s in other countries, businesses can claim the tax back as part of the inputs to their business.
New ‘Real’ Indian prices
Microsoft’s Indian Store quotes prices before tax/GST but that’s not entirely clear from the wording. This is different from Microsoft’s practice in other countries (UK, Australia) where the price quoted includes VAT/GST.
Here’s what you see (in English) as the price of Office 365 Home both as the first purchase and renewal.
There’s no asterix to qualify that.
Elsewhere on that page only is a generic note “*Before applicable taxes”
Whatever you choose, Indian customers are slugged another 18% at checkout.
We’ve been saying it for years, the worst place to buy Microsoft products is their online store. You’ll always pay the highest price. Even the occasional ‘special prices’ are beaten by other sellers.
Use MicrosoftStore.com only to get the latest high price info, then go elsewhere to buy.
Microsoft India prominently offers monthly prices for Office 365, which is another way to pay more than you need.
Reminder: renewals don’t have to be done via Microsoft either. Get the best price you can and use the product key to renew.